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Winder man convicted for murder with golf club sentenced to life without parole

Ralph Junior Butler

By Joe Johnson

A Barrow County jury has convicted a man for fatally stabbing someone who he accused of stealing drugs and money from him last summer.

Ralph Junior Butler, 59, was found guilty on all counts related to the death of 50-year-old Yolanda Hammond the night of Aug. 11 on Bush Chapel Drive in Winder.

Hammond was killed during an assault on Bush Chapel Drive in Winder when Butler stabbed her multiple times with a broken golf club.

The club broke when Butler used it to assault another man and break his car window.

Butler claimed he was upset because he blamed Hammond for stealing $700 from his wallet and 80 Oxycodone pills that he'd been prescribed earlier in the day.

Butler drove to the scene where he knew Hammond would be in order to confront her.

After the fatal assault Butler fled the scene but was found the following morning, hiding from police at a relative's home in Bethlehem.

Butler’s trial began Monday in Barrow County Superior Court, with prosecutors from the Piedmont Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office

presenting evidence from 20 witnesses over two days.

After deliberating for about 30 minutes, jurors found Butler guilty on all seven criminal charges: Malice Murder, two counts of Felony Murder, two counts of Aggravated Assault, Aggravated Battery and Criminal Trespass.

Piedmont Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Nicholas Primm presided over the case and, upon receiving the verdict from the jury, sentenced Butler to life in prison without the possibility of parole.    

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